The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee


Goodreads: The Thousandth Floor
Series: The Thousandth Floor #1
Source: Library
Published: August 30, 2016

Official Summary

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….


When I started The Thousandth Floor, I expected it to be a “guilty pleasure” type read, light but engaging with its portrayal of the lives of rich, glamorous teens in a futuristic Manhattan.  That’s pretty much what it is, though I’m not entirely sure about the “engaging” bit.  While brainstorming this review, I realized I have to very little to say about the book.  It’s about rich teens who spend their time shopping, drinking, and plotting petty revenge on the people who are ostensibly their friends.  The entertainment is supposed to come from watching their sordid little lives fall apart, I suppose, since even the rich and powerful have dark secrets.

The real problem with the novel is that, since everyone is petty and vengeful, they’re very difficult to like.  I can get behind flawed, realistic characters, but these characters are, by and large, really horrible people.  It’s hard not to feel they half-deserve anything bad that happens to them.  I wasn’t really rooting for any of them to solve their problems, and I’m not very interested in reading the sequel.  I’m also not a fan of casual use of hard drugs or underage drinking, and there’s a lot of that in this book. Basically, I would have avoided these people like the plague if I’d known them in high school, and I have the same gut reaction of dislike reading about them in a book.  There are maybe two characters who border on “likable” for me, and that’s not enough to make me emotionally invested in the novel or a whole series.

I did somewhat enjoy the world-building. Who doesn’t want to read about the lives of the ultra-rich 100 years in the future, where practically anything seems possible with technology?  However, I did get the impression that the setting was chosen mostly to add glamour to the story.  Since it wasn’t really “the point” in some sense, it wasn’t fully fleshed out.

The series is being billed as futuristic Gossip Girl (and like Gossip Girl, comes from Alloy Entertainment). I think it’s fair to say that if Gossip Girl-esque stories are your genre, this novel might be for you.  If you’re not into watching the lives of rich teens crash and burn, the novel doesn’t have much else to offer you.

3 stars Briana


12 thoughts on “The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

  1. SERIESous Book Reviews says:

    I loved this book; it was so addicting for me! But I could understand why other’s wouldn’t love it as much. It was definitely a guilty pleasure read for me.

    I agree with you that the setting itself isn’t the point of the story. It really is just an intriguing setting for a futuristic Gossip Girl story. It’s literally just a vertical representation of the rich vs the poor instead of just having them living in certain neighbourhoods within a city.

    I did find the characters to be pretty superficial. I wish they were developed a little more because, you’re right, it was hard to really root for any of them from what we see. Though I definitely had certain storylines that I preferred over others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      There were parts of the setting I liked. It was cool when the author came up with interesting futuristic ideas. The weird glow-in-the-dark floating bubble drink lounge actually sounded pretty fun (though I don’t know I’d frequent a place like that in real life), but then so many of the characters turned around like “Eh, this place is ridiculous! can’t believe we’re in this student glowing bubble lounge.” Maybe we should just all embrace the wild, ridiculous sides of technology.:p

      True. It was interesting how what floor you lived on was just shorthand for how rich you are. I didn’t get a clear grasp on where the people who don’t live in the tower are on the social scale though. Apparently not rich, but it seems like some might actually be middle class? But the character don’t leave the Tower that much, I suppose, which might have been one of the saddest parts. I think I’d feel trapped, even if the Tower is supposed to be enormous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SERIESous Book Reviews says:

        When I first picked it up, I just thought everyone lived in the tower–that there wasn’t an outside world. Maybe that’ll be elaborated on later but I doubt it. Seems like the focus is on the drama (which is totally fine too, just maybe a bit of a missed opportunity?)


  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    It is so refreshing to see a less than stellar review for this title. All others I have stumbled across seem to rave. Very nice to compare conflicting thoughts. I am guessing that this is not an ideal title for me. Great review!


    • Briana says:

      I think I’ve only actually seen two other reviews on blogs. One was at Nose Graze, and she seemed “meh” about it, too. I think the second person liked but didn’t love it. I honestly don’t see the appeal at all, but I guess I was looking for imaginative world building, and that wasn’t the focus in any sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      That’s a good way of putting it. I’ve read about a lot of unlikable characters where it’s at least understandable why they’re doing what they’re doing. I suppose these characters theoretically have motivations, but, yeah, overall they just come across as petty, which I have no personal investment in.


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